“This is a symbolic gesture which paves the way for meaningful action on illegal content online. Protecting viewers effectively requires take down and stay down measures. More transparency, responsibility and receptiveness is required from platforms to tackle the issues at hand. Right now platforms are reaping huge rewards from their unregulated businesses and asking society to pay the cost. Europe deserves better.”
Grégoire Polad, ACT, Director General
BRUSSELS, 1 MARCH 2018. The Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT) welcomes the publication of the European Commission’s Recommendation on measures to effectively tackle illegal content online.
The recognition by the Commission that not only content inciting terrorism needs to be tackled, but also all sorts of illegal content, sends a positive signal to the entire European creative sector. Reinforcing responsibility towards citizens and guaranteeing a fair business environment is the precondition for a thriving European digital economy.
The Recommendation rightly proposes legislative action in future if platforms do not take down illegal content quickly and effectively on a voluntary basis. It is therefore in their interests to make significant improvements to their processes within the next six months.
It is also important to recall the Commission’s September 2017 Communication on Tackling Illegal Content Online, which also highlighted all types of illegal content including violations of copyright protected works. To some extent this went further than the new Recommendation. As Agnieszka Horak, ACT Director of Legal and Public Affairs, points out:
“More balance needs to be ensured between the parties concerned. The burden to provide data for right holders should be reasonable and proportionate. Notice mechanisms should deliver faster take down of illegal content rather than frustrate it. Automated detection technologies should be mandatory across all illegal content. Establishing who is a trusted flagger should be based on objective criteria rather than left to the sole judgement of online intermediaries - which are not mere hosting service providers as incorrectly inferred in the EC’s Recommendation.
Commercial broadcasters are confident that this is the beginning of a new, more muscular approach by European legislators to tackling illegal content online in all its forms. We intend to work closely with them to ensure that creators can continue to invest with confidence in high quality European AV content.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
ACT Director General